Friday, December 19, 2008

Bristol Palin's Prospective Mother-In-Law Sherry Johnston Busted On Six Drug Charges In Wasilla, Alaska; Released On $5,000 Unsecured Bond

Update December 19th: Subsequent media stories since this post was first published provide additional details. Updated information entered throughout this post in green.

Already the Palinphobes are sharpening their knives over this one. At last count, 787 public comments have been appended to the Anchorage Daily News story, which was first published shortly after midnight on Friday December 19th. A majority of the comments are anti-Palin; some hysterically so. I define a Palinphobe not as someone who merely opposes Governor Palin's politics, but as someone who expresses hatred of her as a person.

ADN reports that 42-year-old Sherry L. Johnston, who is the mother of Bristol Palin's intended husband Levi Johnston, was arrested on Thursday December 18th at her home on Caribou Loop Road in Wasilla. She was the subject of a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation, and was subsequently charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance. More specifically, the charges include second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession. Historically, second-degree misconduct generally involves either manufacturing or delivering drugs. Because the Alaska State Troopers would initially provide no other details on the investigation, there was concern that the controlled substances in question might have been methedrine and marijuana. However, new stories by both KTUU Channel 2 and the Anchorage Daily News now specify that the controlled substance in question is Oxycontin.

Johnston was arrested around noon Alaska time and booked at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, according to a booking officer there. She was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond just after 2 P.M. But no charging documents had yet been filed at Palmer courthouse by the end of the day. A court date has been set for January 6th. The District Attorney's office in Palmer had no comment on the case.

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and that he (Levi) was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday December 20th, according to a recent interview with the governor's father, Chuck Heath. An excerpt of this interview was published by the Alaska Standard; the full interview can be read on The couple have previously stated their intent to get married during the summer of 2009, although no date has been set.

Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, issued the following statement by e-mail: "This is not a state government matter. Therefore the governor's communications staff will not be providing comment or scheduling interview opportunities."

The Anchorage Daily News has provided the only original media story on this development so far, although it has been picked up worldwide and replicated in such venues as the Fox News Channel, the New York Daily News, (153 comments), and the London (UK) Daily Mail and the National Post (Canada), and the Vanguard News Network Forum. Click HERE for the results of a Google News Search using the phrase "Bristol Palin" (without the quotes).

Previous posts on Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin were published on September 1st, 2008 and October 13th, 2008.

Some points to consider:

(1). I find it unusual that Sherry Johnston would be released on unsecured bond. Apparently Oxycontin is not considered a serious as pot or meth. This leads me to believe that the Troopers are either putting pressure on her to get to someone else, or, since she's now associated with the Palin clan, the Troopers might be putting pressure on her as payback for Sarah Palin's protracted pursuit of Trooper Mike Wooten.

(2). Levi Johnston should not be assumed to be a drug user just because he is Sherry Johnston's son. There's been no evidence submitted which support the possibility that Levi Johnston uses drugs.


  1. When is this vaunted Bristol-Levi "wedding" to take place? And, why has it not already? We all know. It never will! It was all part of the snow-job to "soften" the impact of the Palin-daughter shacking-up and the mother's refusal to condemn the fornication. Seeing as how Sarah is a miscegenationist (white-Eskimo), guess morality and the sanctity of marriage wouldn't be too high on her totem-pole. The drug-bust just puts the whole sleazy-affair and teepee-trash in perspective. Tuck.

  2. Nora W. Coffey, HERS Foundation1/09/2009 7:27 PM

    The story of Sherry Johnston’s self-medication with the pharmaceutical drug OxyContin “to deal with the pain” after her hysterectomy seems to be incidental to her arrest. It was immediately characterized by some as an attempt on her part to garner sympathy. The fact that she was disabled by hysterectomy would hardly be noteworthy, if it were not for the fact that she is the “other” grandmother to Sarah Palin’s grandson Levi.

    The consequences of hysterectomy are rarely acknowledged. But the pain experienced by Sherry Johnston is the reality shared by tens of millions of women just like her in all corners of this country who have not been heard—1/3 of all women undergo a hysterectomy by the age of 60, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their pain is usually dismissed as “all in your head.”

    The Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about hysterectomy. Many women who call HERS have turned to drugs and alcohol to relieve the back and hip pain, loss of energy, loss of sexual feeling, and change in personality that are common, well-documented consequences of the surgery. Their symptoms are often dismissed or misdiagnosed, which leaves them with little alternative but to self-medicate.

    In an ongoing HERS study begun in 1991, 65.8% of women reported debilitating “bone and joint pain.” Furthermore, 79.6% of respondents report “loss of sexual desire,” while 79.1% report “personality change,” 72.8% “loss of stamina,” 72.1% “loss of short term memory,” 70.0% “loss of ability to socialize,” 61.5% “insomnia,” 53.7% “suicidal thoughts,” and 49.5% “unable to maintain previous employment.” In Sherry Johnston’s case, the aftermath of hysterectomy left her no choice but to forego her career as a hairstylist when the pain became disabling.

    It is with great sadness that I read these articles about a woman who, if she had been given information about the common sequelae of hysterectomy, would not be facing criminal charges related to a drug she needs to dull her pain.

    Nora W. Coffey
    HERS Foundation
    422 Bryn Mawr Avenue
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004